Christmas Yule Log

Last Christmas I made my first Yule Log and it was so much fun and surprisingly easy that I decided to make it an annual tradition!

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until thick. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until pale. Mix in flour ingredients.

In another large bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, along with vanilla and cream of tartar. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Gently stir half of egg whites into cake batter, then fold in remaining egg whites to make a fluffy light batter. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread to edges in an even layer. Bake until top springs back when lightly pressed, about 10-12 minutes. 

Dust a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar and run a thin knife around cake edges. Invert warm cake onto towel and peel off parchment paper. Starting at the short end, use the towel to tightly roll cake into a log. Let cool completely. 

To make the filling, in a large bowl, beat together heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

When cake is cool, carefully unroll and spread filling evenly to edges of the cake. Roll back into a log, this time without the towel, and place seam side down on a platter. Refrigerate for 45 minutes. 

To make frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder and then beat in vanilla, heavy whipping cream, and salt. Spread onto cake, using a fork to give the ridged appearance of bark. Dust lightly with powdered sugar. Serves 8-10.
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